Monday, June 29, 2015

Carte Blanche Problem

When last did you experience the 'Carte Blanche' problem? Carte Blanche is a South African Investigative Journalism series originally released in 1988 focusing on corruption, consumer issues and current events. I loved watching it and got riled up cheering for the good guy as Derek Watts stormed from issue to issue to shine a light on it.


Normally I didn't know much about the industry or issue being covered. I may have had a casual, passing, popular understanding but the show told me what was what. They framed the issue, handed me the pitchfork and torch and then released my righteous indignation. Awesome. There is nothing better than having a bad guy to direct our cumulative pissed offness at.


Occasionally the show would focus on issues I knew a little bit more about. Kind of like when you watch Grey's Anatomy with a bunch of doctors. Don't watch Grey's Anatomy with a bunch of doctors. The script writers don't let real medicine get in the way of a good story. Doctors tend to get really irritated with the holes. They watch anyway because we all enjoy a good whine, but they prick the suspension of disbelief. When Carte Blanche attacked an issue where I thought there were aspects that were being missed, I wondered if that was always the case? I just didn't know about the holes when it was outside my area of expertise.

Robert Nozick said 'There is room for words on subjects other than last words'. We may be tempted to try and do all our thinking in private before we plonk. This hides our doubts and gives us that confidence that we can't help but find attractive. We should find doubt attractive, but in a world that is overwhelmingly confusing, someone who appears to have it figured out is very appealing. Donald Trump seems to have a surprising amount of support. Not because his views are coherent, but because he has swagger. Confidence opens ears.

There are lots of unanswered questions, and most of the answered questions have Carte Blanche problems. The people in the know will see the holes.

The best we can do is keep asking.
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